District number 9 - the story of the movie

Shot for a modest science fiction of $ 30 million, Blomkamp debut film received rave reviews from critics, earned a worldwide box office of more than 200 million dollars, and all of a sudden was nominated for "Oscar" is not only for special effects, but also in the category "Best Film" .

Let's learn some of the details of the history of film.

His appearance in the light of "District number 9" shall failed adaptation of the video game Halo. Producer Peter Jackson was so pleased to work with the VFX-artist and director Neil Blomkamp that after the project Halo sunk into oblivion, Jackson decided to trust it a shot feature film on his own idea of ​​the Nile.

Blomkamp was born and raised in Johannesburg, and then moved to Canada, but did not forget his homeland. And it is South Africa's painful history of racial segregation inspired his story about the alien ghetto, which the authorities want to move far away. It is this short film narrated Blomkamp "Survive in Joburg" - a kind of precursor of "District number 9". Neal took it as mokyumentari asking real people in the streets that they think about immigrants in search of a better life of migrants from neighboring countries, and then they gave answers of the response to the aliens.

"District number 9" tells about an alternate reality, according to which 20 years ago, aliens landed on Earth. The spacecraft does not depend on the New York or London, and over South Africa, and that the country had to cope with an unexpected guest, who, it seems, wanted to fly away, but for some reason can not. When clashes between unpleasant clams (so people call visitors from outer space because of their similarity with shrimp) and the locals reached its climax, the authorities employ military corporation MNU for the forced relocation of aliens from District 9 on the number designated areas away from the city. But everything is complicated by the fact that the unlucky fellow MNU Vicus infected with a virus that gradually transforms it into the same mollusk.

Not mokyumentari and classic sci-fi thriller "District number 9" begins as a strange mixture of pseudo-interviews, video surveillance cameras, news stories and corporate video company MNU. Hand-held camera, the picture is dirty, improvisation in the frame - all it really was a novelty for fans of the genre. The camera did not linger on the aliens, and at times relegated them to look, blending with the landscape. Blomkamp was doing it on purpose, not by building the frame, and not worrying about the beauty of the image.

By the way, the scenery "District number 9" ulterior motive look authentic. Thank real slums on the edge of Soweto in Johannesburg. The film crew got very real home, landfills and other debris left by residents who moved to the authorities on the eve of the municipal house 20 kilometers from Soweto. Decorative painters have been fragments of destroyed buildings and built the necessary facilities again from the same materials. You should not have anything to look or artificially age the scenery and textures that will save a lot of time and nerves. The legacy of filmmakers got including corpses and bones of animals, which are actively used as props. By the way, during the filming of the scene of the helicopter landing in the slums raised screws wind was so strong that it rose in the air all the garbage and covered the area with dust and dirt. So it was at this authentic and back, and not the most pleasant side.

Yet the fate favored-debutant director. For example, a frame with the crowd, waving flies spacecraft, turned out quite by accident. Remove the air crew found a trade union demonstration, and people actually waved to the helicopter. Blomkamp chose to use the plan at the end of the picture.

In the title role in "District number 9" Blomkamp called childhood friend Sharlto Copley, who starred in the short film "Surviving in Joburg." The absence of star names and economies of scenery allowed 90% of the budget spent on visual effects. Alien painted over dressed in a gray suit for motion capture (Motion capture technology), actor Jason Cope, who played all the talking alien and conventional extras. So on every comer I worked a staff of specialists: visualizers, modelers, animators and teksturschiki.

For a realistic image of shellfish needed to combine computer graphics model and silicone. The earliest designs created the specialists of Peter Jackson's WETA, but then they switched on the tape "Avatar" and all further work was transferred to studiiImage Engine, which had not previously worked with feature films. Interesting fact: in order to save money refused clothes for aliens as to simulate the fabric is very expensive.

The biggest challenge for the visual effects specialists were alien insect-figure - slim waist and crooked legs, as well as their movements. Actors could not fully convey the plastic clam, so in the case enters the animators, adding sharpness of their movements. For greater authenticity of the surface of shells and other parts of the body alien designers turned to a book about the real insects, taking pictures of the most amazing bugs and spiders in the highest resolution and use them as inspiration for the texture.

Anyone who is even slightly familiar with the history of the XX century, obvious allusion to apartheid. In the film, Blomkamp trapped on the reservation are aliens, in reality, in the same situation were non-white population of South Africa. District number 9 - a direct reference to the district number 6, from which the National Party forcibly relocated 60,000 people in 1966, declaring the area a zone for whites. And now xenophobic sentiment towards living in slums such as Soweto migrants from Zimbabwe are constantly provoke clashes and riots.

Historical parallels can be seen in detail. Although someone experiments on aliens seemed a reference to Nazi Germany and World War II, there is a perception that the government of the apartheid regime also conducts research with experiments on the black population, trying to synthesize the virus, affecting only its representatives. Even the armored personnel carriers that MNU is using to work in the ghetto - a real car type Casspir, developed in South Africa in the 1970s for military operations on the border with Angola during the South African Border War and then used for transactions in reserves for non-whites .

The combination of compelling graphics, unusual look at the newcomers and near almost every major city of the Earth theme of illegal migrants and xenophobia - "District number 9" liked by the audience and critics.


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